It’s a Keeper

Let me say this upfront.  I do not (NOT!) want to see another recommendation for what to eat using canned beans.  I am over (OVER!) them.  I agree that canned beans may be almost the perfect food – healthy, cheap, quick, easy, always on hand.  And I understand that when we’re limiting our visits to the grocery store during this coronavirus time, canned beans may be the perfect solution to multi meals.  But I’m tired of them.

(An aside: Andy has a totally different take on beans.  See Andy’s Corner – as always :))

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White Bean Soup w/Krispy Kale – Deb at Smitten Kitchen

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Big Pot of Beans – Melissa at the NYTimes

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Quick Red Beans & Rice – Washington Post

I need CRUNCH in my life! (and more caps and exclamation points – to make a home-bound life more DYNAMIC and FUN!!!!!)!  And I need something that KEEPS because I am asked to not go to the grocery store every day!!!!

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My dislike of packaged greens may – or may not – be well founded.  See Mother Jones.

Whereas crispy salads with Baby Gem and Iceberg and Romaine lettuce are wonderful, greens like that just won’t keep well for very long (note: Andy and I don’t buy packaged greens).  So for my necessary CRUNCH, I’ve turned to some different veggies.

Here’s your shopping list for the vegetable section of your market (check your cupboards and fridge for the dressings’ ingredients).  Get in and get out of the store – QUICK!  And relax, then, knowing these veggies will keep their freshness and crunch for at least a week – or until you’re allowed to return to the store (face mask on, of course).

  • Broccoli crowns
  • A bunch of carrots (definitely not in a cellophane pkg and not “babies”!)
  • Red onion or two
  • Jicama (try to find a small one; substitutions would be kohlrabi or Granny Smith apples – which would need to be chopped and dipped into a lemon/water mixture to keep)
  • Some oranges
  • Red bell pepper – or small mild red peppers
  • Green onions
  • Red and green cabbage (don’t you get annoyed at how large they are?!  Try to find a small head – or 1/2 of a head – but it does keep really well, if you have to go big.)
  • Celery
  • Limes
  • Head of garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Cilantro and/or parsley and/or mint

With that fresh produce, you’ll have enough to make each of the four “It’s a Keeper” Crunchy salads.  Make one today; eat it for the next few days.  And so on.  Add nuts if your need for crunch is overwhelming you, as it is me.  Anything to keep us SANE.  Or is sanity a thing of the past?

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Use the broccoli crowns

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It’s a Keeper! Crunchy Broccoli Slaw

Broccoli Slaw

  • 4 c chopped broccoli (bite-size pieces)
  • 1 1/2 c shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c diced red onion
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds (toasted, if you want)

Combine the broccoli, carrots, and onion and mix well (almonds will be tossed in later)

Buttermilk dressing

  • 3 T sour cream (or Greek full fat yogurt)
  • 3 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Accent – which is MSG (optional)
  • a grind or two of pepper
  • 1/4 c buttermilk

Whisk the dressing ingredients together until well blended.

To finish the salad, drizzle the dressing over the broccoli mixture.  Add the almonds, and toss gently.  Serve.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.
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Behold, the jicama!  Peel it before using.

Crunchy Jicama and Orange Salad

This recipe is one of those where you put in what you like – with the dressing, the oranges (or pineapple) and the jicama being the only essential ingredients.  Add red bell pepper – or not.  Add cilantro – or not.  Or just before serving, add some chunks of avocado.  This is a riff on a recipe in Sara Deseran’s Asian Vegetables cookbook. We like that there is no oil in the dressing, so the salad keeps better.

  • 1 1/2 c orange chunks (peel orange, slice horizontally into about 1/2″ slices and then cut those slices in 4-6 pieces); or you can use fresh pineapple chunks – or both
  • 1 1/2 c peeled and chopped jicama – about 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c mint leaves or cilantro leaves
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (or 1/4 c diced red onion)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp ancho chile powder – or cayenne  – to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond kosher salt
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 avocado, in 1″ pieces (optional; if you are planning to use up the salad over several days’ time, add the avocado just before serving each day.)

Combine all of the ingredients; mix gently but well.  Cover and let sit for at least an hour at room temperature.  Drain off any excessive liquid – and serve.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.
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Red cabbage stays crisper longer than green cabbage

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It’s a Keeper! Crunchy Sesame Ginger Slaw

Sesame Ginger Slaw

Feel free to substitute all red or all green cabbage, rather than a mix.  Remember that red cabbage stays crisp longer.


  • 1/3 c rice vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil (or substitute peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil – though the flavor will be a teeny different)
  • 1 T finely grated peeled fresh ginger (or a little less – if you’re not a ginger enthusiast)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 c finely shredded red cabbage
  • 3 c finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 c shredded carrots
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish (optional)

Place all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the cabbages, carrots, green onions, basil, and sesame seeds to the bowl of dressing and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Garnish with basil and sesame seeds before serving.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.
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You guessed it!  Celery.

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It’s a Keeper! Crunchy Celery Salad

Crunchy Celery Salad

Even if you’re not a fish sauce lover, the flavor is barely noticeable in this recipe.  Fear not! Adapted from Alison Roman and Bon Appetit

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use peanut oil or sunflower oil in this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or soy sauce, if you want vegetarian)
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal (about 2 cups, sliced)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 mild, small red pepper, thinly sliced – or substitute red bell pepper
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts (optional)

Whisk together oil, lime juice, and fish sauce. Toss with celery, scallions, chile, cilantro, and peanuts.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.


  1. Bob Owen says:

    About the photo in the email you sent – I was expecting some discussion of the items that were pictured. I had one of those strange white vertical tubes with the horizontal blades also, but never knew what it was supposed to be used for, even after checking the food processor manual. I use my silicone baking sheets underneath my cutting board to keep them from sliding on my granite counter tops.

    BTW – really easy to make your own beans in a slow cooker, and they taste better than canned!


  2. Carolyn Hall says:

    For the first time in my life (maybe) I have all the ingredients in your recipes right here in my larder (or fridge)! Strange times we’re living in 🙂


    • theRaggedys says:

      Andy here: we were both so happy to hear that you have the ingredients. Now the challenge is if you are up to the rigors of the preparation. BTW – it was good to see you the other day, even if from shouting distance.


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